Half-Baked

imageMy oven is broken.  Really broken, out of commission.  Repairs seem unlikely, because it is an in-the-wall 50’s oven, straight out of The Brady Bunch.  It’s not exactly easy to find parts, so decisions must be made.

While I am deliberating about these decisions, I am getting by with using a cute little toaster oven that I found at WalMart.  It is shiny, with nice buttons and dials that have lots of numbers.  I notice these things, because so far all I’ve done is turn the dials and hoped for the best.  It may not come as a surprise that this approach is not going well.

So last weekend I decided to conquer the confusion and get some things straight with how to use this little appliance.  I started with a little French bread frozen pizza.  I read the instructions on the box with dismay–temperatures and times for the microwave and for a conventional oven.  I thought maybe they would translate directly, so I gave it a shot.

Result…burnt pizza.  Charred.  I ate it anyway, lesson learned, and tried another the next day with adjusted time and temperature.  It came out beautifully, and I wrote down exactly what I did so I could list “frozen pizza” as an addition to my meal plan.

Then I got all confident and tried something fancy.  Well…the meal wasn’t exactly fancy, just the math involved in figuring out how to successfully bake it!

I had chicken fries and cheesy potato bites–both of which needed to bake at different temperatures, for different amounts of time, and then flipped halfway through.  The math overwhelmed me.  I took notes.  I made a diagram.  I found extra timers.  I made a little tray liner with tin foil, prepared my timers and utensils, and went for it.

Result…burnt chicken fries, undercooked cheesy potatoes, and unhappy me.

I knew my Brady Bunch oven so well.  I knew that it tended to heat beyond the intended temperature.  I had all kinds of balances worked out for different items that I would bake by reducing the time a little, or reducing the temperature a little.  I had it all figured out.  I knew what it would take to get a good result, whether baking chocolate chip cookies or a casserole.  Now it feels like I am flying blind.  This little toaster oven is getting the best of me!

I’m not giving up–I saved my diagrams and calculations–but I think I’m going to stick to simpler items for awhile.  In the meantime, I am making a list of things that do NOT need to be baked…soup, anyone?

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4 comments

  1. wahooteacher · March 14

    What a great slice! I love how you ended the post!

    Like

  2. Alice Nine · March 14

    Perhaps this would be a good time to try making steamed bread? Last week my granddaughter begged for me to bake a lemon chess pie for her. Well, they live in Ecuador… and have a convection oven. So we had to convert the conventional oven temp to a convection oven temp. Then we had to convert that temp from F. to C. The pie was great!

    Like

  3. Akilah · March 14

    I loved my old toaster oven (I could fit a frozen pizza in there!), but it did take some getting used to. You will conquer the temperature adjustments for yours. I believe in you!

    Like

  4. franmcveigh · March 14

    I was thinking soup and crock pot! Good luck! You can conquer the oven! ❤

    Like

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